Toddler in FBI-shared surveillance photo is not AMBER Alert girl: Woman says it was her daughter, not Mariah Woods

A North Carolina woman says she is the woman in the photos the FBI released on Wednesday morning, in hopes that someone could identify whether the toddler in the images was a missing AMBER Alert girl, Mariah Woods.

ABC North Carolina reports that Jetta Long, of Newport, NC, said that the little girl in question, who looks similar to 3-year-old Mariah, is actually her own daughter, Luna. Long told the station that her daughter was born with a shortened leg and she understood how authorities may have questioned the child’s identity, as Mariah uses leg braces.

Long also indicated that she does not know Mariah’s family, and was saddened that the photos “may have gotten the hopes of the family up.”

Original Story

The FBI and the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office are asking the public’s assistance in identifying a young child captured on surveillance footage with an unknown woman, as authorities continue into the third day of searching for a missing North Carolina toddler.

On Tuesday, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office released footage obtained from a Morehead City, NC, Walmart, that shows a woman walking with a child that resembles Mariah Woods, a 3-year-old little girl who disappeared from her family’s Jacksonville, NC, home on early Monday morning. The surveillance camera captured a woman wearing a green shirt and grey pants walking with a blonde haired girl at around 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning, just three hours after Mariah was reported missing.

Morehead City is around 59 miles east of Jacksonville.

Onslow County Sheriff’s OfficeInvestigative Services717 Court Street ∙Jacksonville, NC 28540(910) 989-4055 or (910)…

Posted by Onslow County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Authorities are asking the public to look closely at the photos to determine if they know the woman in the photo and if the child is indeed the missing girl. Mariah is described as a white female, standing around 2 feet 9 inches tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She weighs around 30 pounds. She was last seen on late Sunday night at her home at 2404 Dawson Cabin Road in Jacksonville. Mariah’s mother, Kristy Hunter, said she checked on her at around 11 p.m. after putting her to bed a little after 6:30 p.m.

Hunter told authorities that her live-in boyfriend, Kimrey, checked on the toddler at around midnight and allegedly told Hunter to “go back to bed.” Hunter checked on her daughter again at 6:30 a.m. and the little girl was missing.

“No information is too small or insignificant when looking for a missing child. If you have any information to identify the adult and child in this image, please call the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-455-3113,” the sheriff’s department wrote on Facebook.

Currently, Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that authorities find valuable in locating Mariah. To send anonymous text, message Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX, along with your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

Timeline of Mariah’s Disappearance

Nov. 27

The FBI is helping Jacksonville, North Carolina, authorities locate a 3-year-old little girl who police say was abducted from her own home.

WITN reports that an AMBER Alert was issued on Monday morning at around 6:45 a.m. for Mariah Woods, a toddler last seen at around 11 p.m. on Sunday night when her mother, Kristy Kay Hunter, put her to bed inside their Jacksonville home at 2404 Dawson Cabin Road. At around midnight, Hunter’s live-boyfriend, Earl Kimrey, checked on the toddler and told Hunter to “go back to bed.”

Sheriff Miller of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department said at this point, they aren’t sure who has the little girl or exactly what happened.

“We don’t know what happened. It’s entirely premature to try to determine what happened.”

Mariah is described as a white female, standing around 2 feet 9 inches tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She weighs around 30 pounds.

Along with the FBI and local law enforcement, four volunteer fire departments and K9 units joined in on the search effort. Onslow County Communications utilized a drone to help look overhead throughout the area, while The Provost Marshals Office from Camp Lejeune and the Camp Lejeune Range Control.

Authorities interviewed both the little girl’s mother and her mother’s live-in boyfriend, but it’s still unclear, what, if any, leads detectives have at this point. Officials are asking all residents in the nearby areas to search their yards, garages, and cars.

Anyone with any information on Mariah’s whereabouts is asked to contact If you have any information regarding this incident, call the Onslow County Sheriff immediately at 910-455-3113, or call 911.

Nov. 28 

The father of a missing 3-year-old toddler in North Carolina spoke out on Tuesday as authorities continue to look for the little girl, who disappeared from her home on early Monday morning.

ABC12 reports that Alex Woods is the biological father to missing toddler, Mariah Woods, of Jacksonville, as well as the father of her two older brothers, ages 10 and 5. Woods told the station that he hasn’t seen his children in over a year after a nasty custodial dispute between himself and the children’s mother, Kristy Hunter. He said he custody of the children for around a month last year after an incident that alerted Child Protective Services, but when Hunter got the kids back, she reportedly wasn’t cooperative in allowing Woods visitation.

Apparently, due to the volatile history between the former couple, Woods isn’t convinced that the story Hunter told police is true. According to Hunter, she checked on her daughter at around 11 p.m at their home at 2404 Dawson Cabin Road in Jacksonville. She said at midnight, her live-in boyfriend, Earl Kimrey, checked on the toddler and allegedly told Hunter to “go back to bed.” Hunter checked on her daughter again at 6:30 a.m. and the little girl was missing.

“Someone just walked right up in there, grabbed the 3-year-old out of the bed and she didn’t cry, she didn’t scream?” Woods asked. “Nobody heard anything? Four people in the house, two adults and two kids someone just comes up and snatches the baby and walks out?”

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional information becomes available.

[Feature Photo: FBI, Onslow County Sheriff’s Office]